suddenly, by a superb effort of military force and skill, the Russian Armies
in little more than three weeks, since, in fact,, we spoke on these matters here'
have advanced from the Vistula to the Oder, driving the Germans in ruin
before them, and freeing the whole of Poland from the awful cruelty and
oppression under which the Poles were writhing.
" In supporting the Russian claim to the Curzon Line, I repudiate and
repulse any suggestion that we are making a questionable compromise or
yielding to force or fear, and I assert with the utmost conviction the broad
justice of the policy upon which, for the first time, all the three great Allies
have now taken their stand. Moreover, the three Powers have now agreed
that Poland shall receive substantial accessions of territory both in the north
and in the west. In the north she will certainly receive, in the place of a
precarious Corridor, the great city of Danzig, the greater part of East Prussia
west and south of Koenigsberg and a long, wide sea front on the Baltic. In
the west she will receive the important industrial province of Upper Silesia
and, in addition, such other territories to the east of the Oder as it may be
decided at the peace settlement to detach from Germany after the views of
a broadly based Polish Government have been ascertained.
" Thus, it seems to me that this talk of cutting half of Poland off is very
misleading. In fact> the part which is to be east of the Curzon Line cannot
in any case be measured by its size. It includes the enormous, dismal
region of the Pripet Marshes, which Poland held between the two wars,
and it exchanges for that the far more fruitful and developed land in the
West, from which a very large portion of the German population has already
departed. We need not fear that the task of holding these new lines will
be too heavy for Poland, or that it will bring about another German revenge
or that it will, to use a conventional phrase, sow the seeds of future wars.
We intend to take steps far more drastic and effective than those which
followed the last war, because we know much more about this business, so
as to render all offensive action by Germany utterly impossible for generations
" Finally, under the world organisation of nations great and small, victors
and vanquished will be secured against aggression by indisputable law and
by overwhelming international force. The published Crimea Agreement
is not a ready-made plan, imposed by the great Powers on the Polish people.
It s ets out the agreed views of the three major Allies on the means whereby
their common desire to see established a strong, free, independent Poland,
may be fulfilled in co-operation with the Poles themselves, and whereby a
Polish Government which all the United Nations can recognise may be set
up in Poland. This has become for the first time a possibility now that
practically the whole country has been liberated by the Soviet Army. The
fulfilment of the plan will depend upon the willingness of all sections of
democratic Polish opinion in Poland or abroad to work together in giving it
effect. The plan should be studied as a whole, and with the main common
objective always in view. The three Powers are agreed that acceptance by
the Poles of the provisions on the Eastern Frontiers and, so far as can now
be ascertained on the Western Frontiers, is an essential condition of the
establishment and future welfare and security of a strong, independent,
homogenous Polish State.
The proposals on frontiers are in complete accordance, as the House will
remember, with the views expressed by me in Parliament on behalf of His
Majesty's Government many times during the past year. I ventured to
make pronouncements upon this subject at a time when a great measure of
agreement was not expressed by the other important parties to the affair.